You’ve seen the smash-hit Netflix series. Now play the game.
We know what you’re thinking… The chances of a real handful of billionaires recruiting you into an insane series of deadly games are pretty slim. Too bad. Though, you probably wouldn’t really want that anyway, given how bloody and downright terrifying Squid Game is.
On the other hand, the scenario does sound like it could be pretty fun. At least if you remove the ‘getting shot in the head’ penalty from the proceedings!
We decided to look into creating a DIY Squid Game experience at home. Minus the murder and chances of dying of course. It turns out that it isn’t really that difficult to put something together, with the only real requirements being a few willing friends, a good imagination, and a modestly sized house or garden.
“Life is like a game, there are many players. If you don’t play with them, they’ll play with you.” -Il-Nam
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If you haven’t already seen Squid Game, give it a watch. It certainly isn’t for the faint of heart but it does manage to deliver an incredibly engaging story. Even if that story is set in patently absurd circumstances.
The idea goes as follows; a group of a few hundred people are recruited into an event, each takes part in a series of 6 games, those that fail a game are eliminated. In a very final way.
As would be expected, those that pass all 6 games get their share of a big prize.
Additionally, the rules say that players are not allowed to interfere with one another during the games, but may do whatever they wish between rounds.
Translating these rules over to a home version is, for the most part, pretty straightforward. Invite a group of friends over, tell them they’re participating in your Squid Game DIY version, and you’re pretty much ready to go. Those that have already seen the show will be on the same page from the very beginning, though you may have to bring those that haven’t got round to watching up to speed.
The factors you’ll have to think about concern how many friends want to play, and what sort of prize you’re offering the winner/winners. It’s absolutely possible to get your friends to buy-in with a little money, with the pot being split amongst the winners. But this aspect isn’t at all necessary. You could just as easily make the prize a pizza, or anything else you think they might enjoy.
We also decided that instead of eliminating losers it might be a better idea to use a point system instead.
5 points for first place, 3 points for second, and so on.
Those that get eliminated will feel pretty silly just standing around twiddling their thumbs, after all. Though, you could also add to the fun with a penalty system. Maybe those that come in last place should drink a glass of something unpleasant. Far better than the losers in the series get!
“I think it would put us at a disadvantage if we just choose one. There’s this saying in investing, “Try not to keep your eggs in the same basket.” – Cho Sang-woo
Now the big one; what games are they going to play?
Looking at the games in the series itself, there are 6.
- Red Light Green Light
- Dalgona Candy
- Tug Of War
- Glass Bridge
- Squid Game
It’s very possible to adapt all of these games to home versions, with the biggest problem being that the activities in the series really do need more than a handful of players. It is, after all, not going to be very fun if your 5 friends are trying to play uneven Tug Of War, or are all eliminated entirely by Glass Bridge. It also won’t be particularly easy finding the space for all of these games, assuming you’re setting up in an average-sized apartment. Be prepared to move furniture about, or commandeer a friend’s house or garden. Alternatively, wait for a sunny day and head outdoors. A nearby park or common is a great location for group games.
A few alternative game ideas include a Round Robin of a favourite one-on-one fighting video game, a race around the block, Coinage, building a house of cards, jump rope, hopscotch, Twister, a simple obstacle course, Beer Pong, and Rock Paper Scissors. Your choice if you want to involve alcohol in Beer Pong and Coinage of course.
The idea is, of course, to not give anyone an advantage in all of the chosen games.
If you have a friend that jogs regularly, it isn’t going to be much fun if they dominate a list of games that are all based around physical fitness. Instead, it’s probably going to be a great deal more fun if you change up between puzzle games and physically demanding activities.
“I’m good at everything except the things that I can’t do.” – Han Mi-Nyeo
A Smart Line-Up
It’s also wise to pace the line-up smartly, not putting jump rope after a race around the block, for example. The players need to catch their breath, and they will quickly stop having fun if they’re all gasping and sweating before they’ve even reached the third game. If you are going to have physical fitness games, break them up with something less demanding in between.
It would also be a great idea to have the more tense games towards the end.
Start off with a race to get things going, then have something like Rock Paper Scissors at the end. Nothing will be tenser than a slow-paced game right around the time everybody is well aware of how many points they need to win.
“Everyone is equal while they play this game.” – The Front Man
Setting The Squid Game Mood
If you have the sort of friends that are into role-playing and cosplay, your DIY Squid Game is going to be a whole lot more entertaining.
In fact, it’s best if you make it a requirement that friends dress up if they want to be involved. You, as the host, should certainly dress up in an appropriate ‘Game Master’ outfit, assuming that you’re not participating.
A bit of mood music will go a long way too. Depending on how much effort you want to make, the Game Master can play appropriately exciting music throughout the proceedings, keeping things tense and getting everyone immersed in the action.
Let The Games Begin
“I’ll make sure you win. Whatever it takes.” – Ji-yeong
You’ve got the games. You’ve got a points system and you’ve got a prize. Now all you need to do is play the game.